New research has found that contractors would demand the same employment rights as full-time workers if they were determined to be “inside IR35” for tax purposes.

According to a study carried out by tax consultancy Qdos Contractor, 89 per cent of contractors would like to be granted employment rights should they be covered by IR35.

In terms of the factors most important to contractors, exactly half – 50 per cent – said that paid holiday leave was the perk they wanted most. After that, 23 per cent of those surveyed said pension contributions were key, 14 per cent named paid sick leave as important, while only 1 per cent favoured paid maternity or paternity leave.

A further 12 per cent of contractors said that other factors and benefits were most important – such as subsidised childcare or other workplace perks – though the majority said that they would like “all of them”.

Reformed tax laws will see the responsibility and liability for determining a contractor’s tax status falling to an employing body – either end clients or recruiters – rather than an individual worker. So far the rules only apply to public sector organisations, though is widely anticipated to make the switch to private companies in the near future.

Speaking about the findings of the survey, Qdos Contractor’s CEO Seb Maley said that there was a risk that the new IR35 regime could become “unsustainable” for flexible workers.

He explained: “They are taking all of the risks associated with being a contractor but are losing the reward of having a higher day rate. They see the potential position of being forced inside IR35 as completely unfair.”

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